UT Dallas Magazine

Looking Back at the Campus Observatory

In 1979, Drs. David Klumpar and Brian Tinsley, professor emeritus, established a small astronomical observatory on the northwest side of campus. It featured a 16-inch diameter Newtonian reflector telescope and a 5-inch guide telescope, both of which were donated by Dr. J.B. Allen, a Richardson surgeon.

The telescopes were housed in a two-story, 900-square-foot domed building. The dome and telescopes could be rotated to view any area of the night sky. On the first floor, astronomical displays were featured on the wall.

The observatory was used for educational purposes and public star-gazing events until 1986, when increasing sky brightness from growth in the North Texas area diluted the quality of the observations.

–Paul Bottoni